Elizabeth Potente, Executive Director at New Perspective—Roseville, finds inspiration in her interactions with residents and team members every day. She attributes her zest for life to her two greatest supporters: her mom and dad. Through example and encouragement, they showed her how to recognize potential in others and herself and find the motivation to fulfill it.
“I get my determination and drive from my father,” said Elizabeth. “He continues to set the standard. The goal never changes, but the outlook and approach are altered as needed for success.”
With that lesson in mind, Elizabeth set out on her career journey nearly a decade ago. She decided she wanted to become a counselor after spending a significant amount of time with her grandmother in a nursing home and seeing first-hand the importance of having quality care providers. To explore her interest, she pursued an undergraduate degree in psychology at Mankato State University and looked for work that would give her valuable experience.
She applied for a caregiving position at NP | Waconia. At that time, Vince Beckel, who is now District Director of Operations for District 1, was serving as the Executive Director, and Danika Menard, who is now District Director of Operations for District 3, was the Care Team Manager. “They told me about all the opportunities of being a caregiver,” said Elizabeth. “They were so welcoming, and they offered me the position.”
Elizabeth accepted the role and two years later took on the additional responsibility of med passer. “I really enjoyed it and learned so much,” she said. “I appreciated the structure of the monthly town hall meetings and the pride our team took in our work.”
Vince recalled Elizabeth’s early years with NP. “She put the resident first in true servant leadership fashion,” he said.
Even though Elizabeth found satisfaction in her job at NP | Waconia, she wanted to be closer to school. So, she transferred to NP | Mankato, where she held the same role but worked in Betty’s Harbor instead of assisted living. “I just loved memory care,” she said. “It’s a very special place. You never know what the day will bring.”
Influenced by those experiences, she completed her bachelor’s degree and continued on to earn a master’s degree in rehabilitation. She then left New Perspective to assume a full-time vocational rehabilitation counselor role that allowed her to help individuals recovering from illness and injury.
Having achieved her goal to become a counselor, she felt a calling to create a new goal. Plus, she missed New Perspective. To get her foot back in the door, she applied for an open Business Office Manager (BOM) position at NP | Columbia Heights in March of 2021. Brittney Hanzalik, Executive Director at NP | West Fargo, who was the Executive Director at NP | Columbia Heights at the time, interviewed Elizabeth and asked her if the BOM position was what she ultimately wanted to do.
“I told her I wanted to operate a community one day,” said Elizabeth. “Being at New Perspective as a team member, leaving, and trying to come back in a management role, I knew exactly what I wanted and was willing to learn, stretch, and immerse myself in whatever I could to get there.”
Instead of offering Elizabeth the BOM role, Brittney asked her to be the Care Team Manager as it was more aligned with her experience and future goals. Even though Elizabeth felt overwhelmed by the idea of overseeing a team of 40 right away, she was excited and honored to be given the opportunity. She accepted the position, and her confidence grew while she took on the CTM responsibilities.
Six months later, after she had expressed interest in an open executive director position, one became available. Knowing Elizabeth’s passion for her work and drive toward continual improvement, Danika and Beth Landers, who is now Senior Director of Operations Transition, offered Elizabeth the role of executive director at NP | Roseville.
“I jumped for joy,” said Elizabeth. “I’ve learned what works well from other leaders here. I wanted the ability to put more ideas into motion, and the executive director position provides that opportunity.”
In Elizabeth’s current role as executive director, her top priorities are to focus on ensuring resident satisfaction, supporting team members and their goals, and building a strong team. “Elizabeth has used goals to guide her journey into her current role as executive director,” said Vince. “She has done a great job with networking, using others around her to help grow her knowledge around leadership and processes. She draws on that knowledge to strengthen the Roseville team.”
Many NP leaders throughout the company consider goal setting, listening, and showing empathy among her top strengths. “My heart comes directly from my mother,” said Elizabeth. “Over my lifetime, I have watched how she has supported both my father and me. She instilled in me that wherever I am, I am there with all my heart.”